Grain moth | Top 5 Management

Management of Grain moth 

If you are a farmer and you are troubled by the Grain moth on the store product and want to control it, then today in this article we will know about its common name, scientific name, order family, nature of the damage, life cycle. At the end of this article, we will know how we can manage or control this insect.

Grain moth and its management

Grain moth is a common pest on stored products that damages specially stored cereal grains. Its local name is sureri, Anaj ka patanga. Its scientific name is Sitotraga cerelella. It is also known as a rice grain moth.

Grain moth 

Grain moth
Common name Sureri, Anaj ka Patanga.
Scientific name Sitotraga cerelella
Order Lepidoptera
Family Gelechiidae

Nature of damage of Grain moth

Grain moth attacks when the grain in the field is in the milking stage. Its larval stage is harmful to the grain.

The infestation of this pest starts when the crop is still in the field and the grain is in the milking stage. This infestation continues to increase unchecked right up to the time when the harvest is waiting for threshing.

The damage to the grain is always caused by the Larvae which go into grain once it has entered the grain the Larva eats out the kernel unseen.

The infested grains are hollowed out by the larvae and filled with their excreta and webbing its infestation generally does not extend beyond a few inches below the surface of stored grain.

Where the moisture content of the grain is high during storage this is considered to be extremely serious the maximum damages caused during months of monsoon viz:- July August and September

According to Pruthi and Singh 1950, this pest caused more than 10% loss to various commodities.

The life cycle of the Grain moth

Grain moth undergoes complete metamorphosis in which four developmental stages are egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

The egg stage of the grain moth

is the first developmental stage of the life cycle of a grain moth.

Female Lays egg in the depression cracks and crevices in floors or holes in the grains.

The eggs are over in safety, about 0.5 mm in length with both ends rounded and the surface finely sculptured.

They are initially white but soon change into bright red. A single female can lay up to 400 eggs which hatch in 4 days during summer and 7 days during winter.

The larva stage of the Grain moth

is the second developmental stage of its life cycle.

The tiny larva crawls about a little and soon finds a soft spot through which it enters the grains.

When it is inside closer to the entry hole by a silken web and develops there in the full-grown larva is a white with yellowish-brown head and measures about 6 mm in length.

The caterpillar moults 5 times and becomes fully grown in 14 to 20 days which extends in winter.

At this stage, the Larva cuts out a circular exit hole living over it just a short of the cap which can be pushed off easily by the future moth.

The pupa stage of the Grain moth

is the third developmental in which the larva performs the pupation activity inside the grain.

A larva spins a silken cocoon inside the grain to transform itself into a brown pupa.

It measures 5 mm in length and the puppet period lasts for 7-10 Desh under favourable conditions.

The adult stage of the Grain moth

The grain moth is the developmental stage of the Life Cycle.

The mouth is small 6 mm in length, yellowish-brown in colour with a wingspan of 12mm.

It has narrow pointed wings having long fringes the head is small with black and possesses filiform antennae.

The female month starts egg-laying after 2-3 days of copulation. The life cycle is completed in 27 to 40 days depending on the environmental temperature and humidity. There are 4-5 generations in a year.

Management of Grain moth 

  • The damage caused by the insect can be reduced by using the following methods and insecticides to control or manage the grain moth.
  • Godowns should be cleaned well and whitewashed if possible moisture-proof godowns should always be preferred.
  • All the cracks and holes present in the floor walls and ceiling of the store should be filled up with cement and levelled.
  • Use new bags as much as possible.
  • About 20% of the room should be left free between the top layers of the bags and ceiling.
  • ED/CT mixture @ 0.5 liter/metric ton of grain
  • EDB ampule (3mi) @ 1/q of grain

Natural enemies 

Laemophloeus minutum and psocids are the predators of the larvae and pupae of the pest.


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